Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Disney Movies - Day 42

Still trying to get through the long weekend's Disney movie viewing, Saturday was again a hard shift to the right because it was Muppet day. As a kid, I was a HUGE fan of the Muppets. I am old enough that The Muppet Show was on television and I grew up with Sesame Street, so the Henson camp was a huge part of my childhood. But I didn't have the best of childhoods, so a lot of things that were important to me then, get ignored today because they remind me of bad times.

I own all the Muppet movies that have been released on DVD by the Disney Company (just not the TV series), but have never watched my discs and have never upgraded them to Blu-Ray. There were a lot of Muppet TV movies throughout the years, but Disney has chosen not to release them and there's probably a good reason, Muppet movies tend to be hit or miss. Even though I dawdled a bit at first and almost decided not to watch them, I cracked down and stuck to my guns and I'm glad I did because it was a good day after all.

I started with Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas. I am also old enough that I remember when this show was first broadcast. Although there are faint religious undertones in this film (I don't like to be preached to in a Disney movie) and the music tends to lean a bit on the country side, I still absolutely adore this movie and it's probably the only Henson movie I've seen since I was a kid. This is a fan-edited trailer, but I like it just the same:

The outtakes on the disc are hilarious as well:

Including a rather long sequence of the "drum roll" that never quite worked right:

Then it was time to go full Muppet so, of course, the original movie comes first, The Muppet Movie. This is still the greatest of them all and it's why the Muppets are great in my mind, but I couldn't help but notice how many of the celebrities who did cameos are now dead. Sad.

Because the discs I own are 50th Anniversary collections, each one has a Pepe Profile on it, this one is about Kermit. I know Pepe now and love the books he's done, but I don't remember him from the original Muppet show and I'm not really sure at what point he entered the Muppet-verse.

I know I've seen The Great Muppet Caper probably dozens of times, but I honestly didn't remember it and it was like watching it for the first time. I do remember the songs and a lot of the sets are classic Muppet props, but that's about it. To be honest, it's probably my least favorite of the classics...they tried way too hard to recreate the magic of the original and failed miserably and again, I caught myself looking at now old or dead celebrity cameos and it was almost depressing.

The Pepe Profile on this disc is Miss Piggy. I'm not a Miss Piggy fan, she actually gets on my last nerve, but I watched it anyway.

Then it was The Muppet Christmas Carol, another one I know I've seen, but I didn't remember it. It was actually really good and that's the one Dickens story I don't care much for. About my only complaint about this movie is that the ghost of Christmas past was creepy, way creeper than the ghost of Christmas future and he's a reaper!

This Pepe Profile was on my favorite Muppet, Gonzo, but I was unfortunately unable to find a clip...typical. My favorite Disney characters tend to be the most unappreciated of the lot, it's probably why I'm attracted to them. And there were a ton of outtakes on this disc as well, but again, no good clips available, darn it!

I watched Muppet Treasure Island next and I don't think I've ever even seen it before. It was pretty good, a heck of a lot better than Caper, but I've always been a Treasure Island fan anyway.

This Pepe Profile was on the last of the main guys, Fozzie, but again, no clip available (guess people didn't appreciate them as much as I did).

Then last for the old Muppet movies, it was The Muppets Wizard of Oz. I remember this movie being a huge deal when it was broadcast in the mid 2000's because we had been Muppet-less for a while. It sucked then and it still sucks. But I don't like the original Wizard of Oz either, so I'm predisposed to hate it. There were certain movies we were forced to watch as kids every single year because my step-dad wanted to watch them and, a lot of times, I had to practically be hog-tied to a chair. Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, The Ten Commandments and a few other ones that I still can't stand to watch to this very day. The Wicked Witch in Oz gave me more nightmares as a kid than any other fictional villain...give me Jason or Freddy any day over her, even now! But alas, I'm off topic a bit, so here's the trailer for the Muppet's version:

This is also the raunchiest of all the Muppet movies. There has always been underlying adult themes throughout the movies and the TV series, everything from sex to drugs, but never anything "in your face" blatant. I actually had to rewind the disc when Pepe grabs a couple of buttons on Tin-Man Gonzo and asks, "what do these do?", to which Gonzo answers, "nothing, they're my nipples". Seriously? Did they actually say that? Yep.

I almost gave up at that point because the two newest incarnations of the Muppet movies I hadn't seen yet and really didn't want to, but I stuck to my guns and I'm kind of glad I did because The Muppets was actually a really good movie, good enough to be compared to the first one! At least the cameo appearances were of mostly still alive people! But seriously, the music was really good and the story was very heartwarming and charming.

I also now have a new catch phrase, "maniacal laugh, man-i-acal laugh".

And again, a great outtake reel dubbed "The Longest Blooper Reel Ever":

There was only one Muppet movie left in my collection, and although it was way past bedtime, I stuck it out and watched it anyway, Muppets Most Wanted. I really wanted to like this movie, but much in the vein of The Great Muppet Caper, it was a typical sucky sequel. Plus, I just don't like Ricky Gervais, so bad guy or not, he kind of ruined the movie for me.

But again, fantastic blooper reel touted as the "Longer Longest Blooper Reel In Muppet History":

And there is a Statler and Waldorf cut of the movie that actually kind of summed it up for me as well:

I so wish that The Tale Of The Bunny Picnic was on disc as well because that's the movie that gave us Bean Bunny (Disney World guests know who he is) and I love me some Bean, but we are without it, at least for now. I have noticed at a lot of other Muppet movies are on disc and available at Amazon, but whether or not I jump the gun and get any of them is another story. I think, at least for now, I'll just stick with the Disney release of them and if they put out more, then I'll get them instead of some third party package deal. I also have the first season of Fraggle Rock on DVD (I didn't get the other seasons because they are bloody expensive!), but we'll save that for some other time.

Here's where the hard part comes in...I debated long and hard as to whether to create yet another category or lump these in as live action. Can I actually call them live action since they are puppets? I'm not sure if I should, but I'm going to.

Live Action: 30
Full-Length Animation: 76
Mixed-Medium: 5
Animated Shorts: 252
Live Action Shorts: 1
Mixed-Medium Shorts: 2
Animated Series: 77
Mixed-Medium Series: 2
Documentaries: 8


Heather said...

Gonzo is my favorite too but Animal comes in a close second. And of course I adore Statler and Waldorf. Muppet Treasure Island is my favorite of the bunch. I haven't seen the Muppet Oz but Muppets in Space was pretty good. I didn't care for Muppets Most Wanted but I did like Muppets Take Manhattan. I love the part where they're babies lol.

Alyssa F said...

Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island are two of my favorites. I also remember when Wizard was broadcast, and you're right, it was super disappointing.

I really love the new movie, I guess it's just called The Muppets?, but although I loved the trailers for Most Wanted, I didn't think it had nearly the amount of charm as the one before it.